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Mostly Good Girls Hardcover – October 5, 2010
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From School Library Journal
Gr 9-11–Katie and Violet have been inseparable since seventh grade. The competition among the juniors at their all-girls private school is fierce, even between these friends. Violet doesn't understand Katie's recent decisions to keep her PSAT scores a secret, quit crew, get intoxicated, and date a guy who appears to be a loser. Violet is jealous that Katie can effortlessly do everything, making her question why she is seemingly throwing it all away. In an effort to rekindle their strained friendship, the girls publish an unauthorized parody of their school in the literary magazine that Violet edits. She takes the punishment that is doled out, but Katie does not comply with what is asked of her. With this turn of events, Violet finally learns what has been motivating Katie. Witty and unpretentious, Violet is a likable narrator. Some of her funniest reactions are in response to the dating advice Katie shares from a magazine she's read. Each of the classmates has a discernible personality. The girls discuss crushes, fashion, and gossip, but Sales delves into more serious issues like the pressure to be perfect and how it can manifest itself. Suggest this one to readers who enjoy the writing style of Ally Carter. A strong debut that is not be missed.Lori A. Guenthner, Baltimore County Public Library, Randallstown, MD
© Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Violet Tunis is starting her junior year at Boston’s prestigious Westfield School with an impressive to-do list, and she has set a difficult agenda for herself, from acing her exams to reeling in her crush, and maybe even becoming famous. What she has not anticipated is the subtle shift in her relationship with her best friend, Katie, a girl for whom success is effortless. Private-school culture functions only as a backdrop here; Sales focuses her debut on the dynamics between Violet and Katie, and the friendship story is refreshingly free of confrontational cliques and catty female stereotypes, while short, snappy chapters keep the story moving. At times whiny and clueless, Violet may strike some as an unlikable narrator, but she tells her story with honesty, and the reassessment of her goals at the end of the book rings true. Recommend this to fans of Meg Cabot’s novels and academy-based stories. Grades 8-12. --Kara Dean
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I loved the way that this book was written. The chapters were super short and there was no pointless scenes. Everything in the book either shined light on the conflict or developed the characters more. There was no endless back stories or any slow pacing at all. This is a read in one sitting book because you won't be able to put it down.
Mostly Good Girls is also a completely different take on the high school drama. Violet and Katie go to a small all girls prep school. They hardly have any interactions with boys and when they do they are completely hopeless at it. They are trying to learn how to become cool, which I think we can all relate to. Even if you went to a public school we all went through a crisis of cool at one point in our lives, I'm sure.
This book also touches on the subtle things that come between friends. It seems like most YA's always talk about some huge situation that drives a wedge between people, but that's not always the case. Sometimes its just little things that add up.
I highly recommend this book. Its a quick read and Violet and Katie's antics and banter will have you laughing the entire time!
This book is a bona-fide page-turner.
If I think back over books I've described as "page-turners" they usually have a plot of outrageous drama: murders, explosions, hauntings and the like. Of course, a story is only addictive when engaging characters confront pressing dilemmas, but most writers who knock together a page-turner like to make use of the murders and explosions. Literary Fiction (and Literary Young-Adult, which is how I'd describe Mostly Good Girls) is often funny, charming, and revealing, but not typically "addictive."
Mostly Good Girls is.
From the first page where we get Violet Tunis' list of goals for her Junior year (a list more ambitious than anything most of us have contemplated in high school) to the high stakes of friendship, family, and career that come into play down the line, this book is funny, charming, and revealing... and also absolutely refuses to be put down.
For starters, the two main characters, best friends, are infectiously human. Violet, the "I" of the story, is a hard-working girl from an academic family attending a prestigious all-girls prep school. She's far from unfazed... in fact she's almost perpetually "fazed" by her surroundings, which makes her humor, energy, and candor all the more mesmerizing.
Her friend Katie is dynamically different. She from old-money, her intelligence and success come seemingly without effort, and her spontaneity is both more explicit and risky than Violet's. From early on it's clear that Katie resents the expectations placed upon her, but it is impossible to guess how this resentment is going to impact her choices. Which is part of the reason the story is so addictive.
We don't *know* how feelings and actions react any more than the characters do. They're still figuring that out, and we are figuring it out with them.
Accordingly, at the beginning we don't know how deep the differences between Violet and Katie are. And toward the end, we don't fully understand depth of their similarities, either. We have to keep reading in order to understand; that's another reason why the book is so addictive.
Of course, compelling characters won't get you anywhere with a dry or tired plot. Sales moves through the oft-covered subjects of teen romance and aspirations with both ingenuity and economy. Violet's to-do list, presented on page one, pretty much catalogs the subjects of the novel up-front. It doesn't spoil the mystery, because on page two dives in looking for solutions. Also, many of the chapters are presented as brief vignettes, seeming non-sequiturs, like "Moneymaking Schemes" and "Genevieve is anorexic." This gives the pacing a quick boost, and yet, you've always got the nagging feeling that these sections are critically important to the plot (they are). Across the whole novel, chapters are short, events happen quickly, dialogue is witty and clever, and everything that happens happens for a reason. In some ways it seems structured like a good hard-boiled detective story (another great model for a page-turner).
The end effect is spontaneity, which is, again, the crux of the girls' relationship. You're treating yourself to spontaneous characters in a spontaneous story. This book is wonderful, and once you pick it up, you won't put it down.
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Genre: Young Adult
Short Synopsis: Violet and Katie are best friends at Westfield...Read more